By Melissa Limberg
When I have the opportunity to go to one of the most exclusive and talked about new restaurants in Manhattan – of course I’m going to go. I didn’t know much about Catch other than if it was good enough for Carmelo Anthony, it was probably OK for me. (I like to think Melo and I have a lot in common as far as our sophisticated palates are concerned.)
It was a typical Friday night in the Meatpacking district; I was surrounded by beautiful people being beautiful and waiting tirelessly at the front rope in hopes to enter this fabulous culinary establishment. Of course, the difference between them and me was that the rope opened and I was ushered in. So long, suckas! My counterpart and I were directed to the bar to have a drink before our table was ready. There was barely enough time to order and pay for our drinks before we were escorted upstairs to a trendy, warehouse style dining area. It felt warm and rustic, yet washed with tones of glamour and it was oozing upscale. Everything on the menu was a legitimate viable option for what I wanted to order.
Though I was at a seafood restaurant, I knew there was no chance I’d leave a Top Chef run kitchen without having filet as my main course. I’m predictable insofar as I hate being disappointed, and I really really reaaaaally love steak so it was win-win really.
We started with the red mussels and crispy shrimp. Even writing it feels like I’m doing an injustice because how can I put into words the perfection that were those two dishes? The mussels were plump, juicy, and put to shame any dish of mussels I had previously ever eaten. An absolute A+. The crispy shrimp were also second to none. Served with spicy mayo, they were the most flavorful way I’ve ever experience a shrimp dish. This is a must have if you go to Catch.
Served at the same time were two absolutely mind-blowing little pretzel bagel type situations that made me want to cry because I really pride myself on not needing to eat bread… but I fell in love. Bread baskets be damned, these mini pretzel rounds made me salivate.
We each ordered the 10oz filet as our entree, and I have absolutely no regrets. It was cut beautifully and the medium rare request that we had both asked for was honored exactly how I like it. It was served with a small dish of specialty sauce, but – as with any properly cooked filet – the sauce went unutilized save for a small taste. Perfection, (I can’t help but overuse this word right now.)
Side dishes were no small part in this dinner production. My date chose the grilled asparagus with minced egg and the parmesan-truffle fries. I was disinterested in both of these dishes; after all I was so over the moon with my appetizers and entree why did I need a side dish? Furthermore, why wasn’t he ordering the seafood inspired side dishes? The presentation was nothing special, but the smell was overpowering. Overpowering in the best. possible. way. It is my personal opinion that it’s extremely easy to overuse truffle oil and create a dish that smells and feels like it’s more of an excrement than an excitement. The fries were phenomenal, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. I could eat these fries with every meal, easily. The asparagus was a mixture of white and green asparagus which is not only pleasing for the taste buds, but also the eye. The minced egg was a great addition to add dimension and texture. Both of these sides surprised and delighted.
Unfortunately the only negative part of this experience was that we were so full we couldn’t imagine dessert. However, we were both basking in the beautiful glow of post consumption glory so there were no complaints from either party.
The price point could have been much more if you ask me, $42 for each filet, $9 for each side dish, and the appetizers were $14/$18. From start to finish this meal was a 10. Five stars. Two thumbs up. And you know what? I could legitimately eat it every day and I am unsure that I’d ever tire of it. That’s how good it was. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes to eat food. Just make sure you have a reservation far in advance or you’ll be one of the beautiful people waiting on the outside of that rope while I buzz passed you to be whisked away into culinary utopia.